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The Arc NCR launches unique summer camp

The Arc NCR launches unique summer camp

by Sara Garbarino, May 10, 2019

AEGIS STAFF REPORT

The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region announces Camp Sp’Arc, a brand-new inclusive summer day camp for children ages 6 to 21,
encouraging campers with and without differing abilities to attend.
The camp will feature four separately themed one-week sessions at The John Carroll School (703 E. Churchville Road, Bel Air). Each
week will incorporate four unique field trips for campers to learn from and enjoy.
Camp Sp’Arc runs beginning June 17 through June 28 and July 29 through Aug. 9. The camp’s schedule is structured around Harford
County Public School’s Extended School Year to ensure working parents of children with special needs will have continuing support for
the entire summer.

Olivia Kugler is passionate about helping children with differing abilities and looks forward to attending Camp Sp’Arc.
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Themes for this summer’s camp are Environmental Week (June 17-21), Emergency Services Week (June 24-28), Sports Week (July 29
– Aug. 2) and Animal Week (Aug. 5-9).

Campers will enjoy trips throughout the Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., region, including Eden Mill Nature Center,
Herr’s Snack Factory, M&T Bank Stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Campers can expect to meet the Harford County K-9 unit, the Harford County SWAT team, exotic animals from Wild Life Adventures
and much more. Each week of camp concludes with a trip to the Conowingo pool.

Each week of camp includes special visits from Pets on Wheels’ therapy dogs and playtime with The Arc NCR’s new pet therapy dog,
Honor.

“Camp Sp’Arc is the perfect opportunity for families who may have one child with a disability and another without,” said Phil Givens,
respite supervisor for The Arc NCR and director of the camp. “We’ve created a place where kids of all abilities can spend their summer
together.”

One child looking forward to attending Camp Sp’Arc, not because she has a differing ability or a sibling with one, is Olivia Kugler, 10, of
Bel Air.

“Olivia is extremely passionate about helping children with differing abilities,” said Casey and Markus Kugler, Olivia’s parents. “One of
her best friends at school has Down syndrome, and she thoroughly enjoys spending time with her.”

Over the past six months, Olivia’s interest in helping others has grown and led to her teaching herself American Sign Language.
“When she heard about Camp Sp’Arc where she could connect with others, like and unlike her friend from school, Olivia beamed with
excitement,” her parents said. “Attending the camp will allow her to improve her ASL skills and learn from other children, volunteers
and counselors so she can continue advocating for people with differing abilities and educate others.”

Camp Sp’Arc offers volunteer opportunities for those age 14 and older; volunteers, or “buddies,” are matched with campers so they may
participate in activities and build friendships. The camp is also equipped to accommodate children with behavior challenges who
require medication throughout the day; trained professionals from The Arc NCR will be on-site to administer.

“People don’t realize how much they can learn from someone with a differing ability,” said Flossie Rosser, a family navigator for The
Arc NCR. “The more time they spend together, the better of a person they become.”

Campers must be registered by June 1 to participate in Camp Sp’Arc; they are not required to participate in all four weeks of camp.
For more information, or to register for Camp Sp’Arc, visit www.arcncr.org, email FSS@arcncr.org or call 443-412-5490.